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England tour of Sri Lanka : 2nd Test, Day 3: Joe Root 186 helps England close in on Sri Lanka’s lead despite Lasith Embuldeniya’s 7 wickets

England tour of Sri Lanka: Lasith Embuldeniya’s 7 wickets helped neutralise Joe Root’s fantastic 186 on Day 3 of the 2nd Test in Galle.

England captain Joe Root crossed many a milestone in the ongoing 2-match Test series in Sri Lanka. With his magnificent 186, Joe Root became the first England batsman, in 16 years, to score consecutive 150-plus scores in Tests. Former England opener Marcus Trescothick, who scored 194 and 151 in consecutive Tests against Bangladesh in 2005, was the last to achieve this feat.

The England skipper, with a tally of 8238 Test runs (180 innings), has gone past Kevin Pietersen and David Gower’s total Test runs for England.

Root is also the only batsman to score over 150 in two consecutive Test innings at Lord’s, a milestone he reached in 2014 with his 180 against Australia and an unbeaten 200 against Sri Lanka (his maiden Test double hundred). Root, who scored a massive 228 in the 1st Test match against Sri Lanka, followed it up with a brilliant 186 on Day 3 of the 2nd Test.

The England No.4 was able to frustrate the Sri Lankan bowlers till the end of play on Day 3, when an exceptional piece of fielding by Oshada Fernando, at forward short leg, put an end to Root’s knock. However, Root sailed the ship for England to a total of 339/9 at Stumps closing in on Sri Lanka’s lead which is 42 runs at the moment.

Neutralising Root’s glorious knock was Sri Lanka spinner Lasith Embuldeniya’s career-best figures of 7/132 on a Galle wicket wherein England spinners were wicketless during the Lankan innings. Embuldeniya’s dismissals included the wickets of Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley on Day 2, followed by 5 more wickets on Day 3. All except Joe Root’s run out and Jos Buttler’s wicket by Ramesh Mendis, went into the account of the 24-year-old Embuldeniya who now has 12 wickets in the series.

“It was an amazing innings. To back up his double hundred in the first test was a challenge both physically and mentally, and it has been a masterclass in batting against spin. It’s a great education for all of us, Not just the tactical and technical aspects, but also the concentration to apply himself for so long,” Jos Buttler told reporters.

“There were some amazing shots that show the confidence and skill level. He even played a late cut left-handed today. Everybody can learn a lot from watching Joe play spin.”

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